Tag Archives: Funding Strategies

3 Strategic Plan Tools to Create

Congratulations! You have journeyed through the 4 steps of our Strategic Planning Process and you’re ready for the final step: Create. (We covered step 1, step 2, and step 3 in previous blogs).

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The goal of a strategic plan is to develop timely, relevant and action-oriented plans for the future of your organization. Once you have a clear direction, it is time to make sense of the information and package it in a way that is meaningful and possible to implement.  

At TCG, we believe a strategic plan has little value if it is a report that sits on your shelf, never to be seen again. We don’t create long strategic plan reports that you can’t use. We want you to use it, share it and review it on a regular basis.

When working with clients, we recommend and create 3 different strategic plan tools:

1. One-page strategic plan – This is a one-page summary of your goals and top strategies. This tool can be shared externally with partners, funders, and other key stakeholders as well as internally with staff.

When creating a strategic plan for the Wabash County Early Childhood Education Committee, we wanted a one-page overview that highlighted the following key elements:Screen Shot 2018-07-27 at 2.03.33 PM

a. Stakeholders involved (especially since this is a collective impact, multi-sector plan)

b. Goals

c. Strategies

d. Outcomes

Each one-pager for the strategic plan that we create is unique to the client but essentially covers their top goals and strategies.

2. Strategic plan report – This report explains the process of how the strategic plan was completed, the information that was collected, and more details about the goals and strategies. This is typically an internal document that is shared with staff and the board to use when reflecting on the process. It’s especially helpful to document this information for when there are leadership transitions with the staff and board.

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3. Implementation plan – Too often we find that organizations get stuck with figuring out how to take the big picture elements in the strategic plan and make them operational. We create an “implementation plan” to unpack the strategic plan into actionable steps for staff, committees and the board. The main audience for the implementation plan is staff, board and committee members who are most likely responsible for implementation.  Screen Shot 2018-07-27 at 2.04.09 PM


This could be set up like a calendar or a chart that describes who is responsible for each step. We also love using Tableau to create a strategic plan dashboard to track and monitor action items and milestones. The point is that we want all parties involved to have a clear understanding of the timeline, so that they can put the plan in motion.

Is your organization ready to jump into a strategic planning process? Learn more about our strategic planning services here. Contact us today, and we’d love to chat about how our team can meet your needs.

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Raising Online Fundraising Opportunity Awareness

 

Donate onlineIn a recent study by Dunham and Company, research shows 84% of nonprofits, including some of the nation’s largest charities, do not have easy-to-navigate donation websites for mobile devices. The study suggests nonprofits may be missing out on billions of dollars in online gifts for this reason. Dunham and Company found that charitable organizations who provide the best online-giving experience to donors raise, on average, 25% more money online than their counterparts. The Chronicle of Philanthropy highlighted some of the study’s findings in a recent article.

Dunham and Company evaluated 151 charitable organizations, with 100 being large enough to appear in The Chronicle’s Philanthropy 400. Researchers reviewed the websites of the organizations, signed up to receive emails, and gave each an initial gift of $20. Researchers then monitored how each organization communicated and built relationships online and through emails.

The study cites ineffective communication as a source for the lack of donations, suggesting charities should be more aggressive when trying to persuade supporters to donate. Common issues include:

  • Vague directions
  • Lack of urgency
  • Limited efforts to encourage sharing
  • Tardy and meager follow-up efforts
  • Failure to nudge donors toward further action

Just 14% of the organizations’ websites in the study provided compelling reasons for giving now. Only about a quarter of the websites provided a link to share on social-media networks such as Facebook and Twitter. More than 80% sent no further email to new listserv subscribers after one initial “welcome” message. Sixty-three percent (63%) did not tell donors how to participate after donating.

According to Dunham and Company researchers, the key to cultivating long-lasting donors is to give them numerous ways to get involved or support a cause, such as providing ways to see the impact of their gift. An image or video can help solidify a donor’s choice to give. This continues the emotional high point for the donor at the end of the donation process.

One organization in the study saw a sharp increase in gifts after switching to a mobile-friendly website. Five months later, half of the charity’s web traffic and up to 35% of its online donations came from mobile devices.

Interested in making your organization more effective at online fundraising? Transform Consulting Group keeps up to date with the latest research and industry best practices to help organizations grow and diversify their funding streams. Contact us today for a free consultation!

 

 

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